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6th annual Law Enforcement and First Responders Appreciation ruck honors hometown heroes

Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 9:52 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Sunday, January 9th, marks National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

One group has gone above and beyond to show their appreciation for six years.

Saturday marked the 6th annual Law Enforcement and First Responders Appreciation Ruck.

Darrell Goodwin has participated for multiple years.

”I’m a private investigator and was going to go into law enforcement 39 years ago and became a private investigator instead,” Goodwin said. “I appreciate everything that they do for all of us so we can continue with our lives safely and go about doing the things we enjoy doing.”

There were multiple options; some walked 3.5 miles, others walked 9.

The group visited memorials at the Florida Capitol, and made stops at TFD, TPD, FDLE, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and Florida Highway Safety.

At each stop, organizer Tim Templeton read names of fallen first responders. The group laid a wreath, and then held a one minute plank at each agency.

”We want to try and feel a little bit of the pain that they may go through,” Templeton explained. “We wear a 30 pound ruck and we do a moment of silence, but rather than bowing our heads, we plank and get a little bit of suffering and pain in the process.”

Templeton said it’s not the destination, but the journey that leaves a lasting impact at the end of the hike.

”It’s not the finish line, it’s the stops where we meet the agency personnel,” Templeton said. “They’re answering the call every day, regardless of who’s on the other end, regardless of what the situation is, so that we can enjoy the safety and security in our community.”

”They do somewhat of a, sometimes a thankless job,” Goodwin said. “When we do this, they come out and you can see on their faces that they appreciate that they are seeing that there are groups of people who care about them and what they do.”

If you’re not up for a ruck, the group recommends simply thanking a first responder the next time you see one.

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